Sunday, August 31, 2014

WEEK 22--"Naked Island"--chit chat with KJETIL



This week we talk to Kjetil Jikiun, the man standing tall on "naked island".

Nogne is one of the very early batches of  Scandinavian craft beers available in KL, and has since been widely accepted by many old & new craft beer friends as one of the "go to" beers.

Here's some QUOTES from the weekly column:-

ON craft beer tasting:-
"Remember that life is not only about harmonies. Contrasts and challenges can be charming and enjoyable too!"
"Step out of your comfort zone.
Expect the unexpected.
If the beer takes your palate on a journey, then enjoy the ride; do not resist."

"The world is full of wonderful things. Don't create limits for what you can enjoy or not. Indulge in it all!"----(of course---craft beer is counted as one of the wonderful things in life!)
On Malaysian food & beer
"There is so much great Malaysian food. But not much good beer(at least in east Malaysia). I guess I focus on the food, without pairing it with beer for that reason.
Sayur Manis, Ikan Pari Panggang with Belacan, Hinava, Nasi ayam(hainanese style), dim sum, prawns or lobster fried in butter, fried wan tans, bambangan, beef rendang.......The diversity of the different cuisines is great, and in east Malaysia people of different religion and ethnicity is not so "segregated" as at the semenanjung. "

". I think perhaps that our beers are a bit to malty and rich to fit in the Malaysian climate zone. If I could tailor make some beers for Asia, I would make them lighter in body(but still flavourful). "

On Asia food influence on beer
"We do have a beer we call Asian Pale Ale with orange peel, kafir lime and lemon grass. It is made for the Norwegian market though. Not for Asia.
I have many ideas for how indigenous southeast Asian  ingredients can be used, but have not spent much time on trying them out. "

On the journey so far
"With no doubt fighting with my partners and employees. We are Nøgne Ø, The Uncompromising Brewery. It is easy to understand Nøgne Ø. It is just a matter of making good products and selling them. "

"But it is hard to understand and work with The Uncompromising Brewery. This is about reaching out to people. To dare to be different. To share ideas and recipes. To allow people to come and visit. To brew with other breweries. To tell the average bar that they are not good enough to be allowed to serve Nøgne Ø. This is difficult. You need to think long term/about credibility/about beer culture/about perceived value/about brand building to understand. Most people who think that business is all about transactions, will never understand this."

". I have been fighting so much to make sure that Nøgne Ø did not loose this very important part of its identity. There has been tears. And sudden career changes. Very bad. I hate it!"

On different between US/Europe/Asia brewing/craft beer scene:-
"Very different indeed! USA leads the cultural revolution. Europe is catching on, but is copying a lot from the US.  I guess brewers in Europe has not had time to find their own identity yet. Asia seems to have a hard time to decide whether to go for big brash beers, as in the US, or to stay disciplined and moderate(almost like classic German brewing)."
Still find brewing fun?
"Yes it is. But it is more serious because there is more responsibility. Responsibility for our employees, equipment, share holders and customers."

"Most of the time we have been focused on the same four core values: Quality, Diversity, Integrity and Drinkability. The latter means that a beer should be enjoyable, even if you drink the whole bottle alone. Not too bitter, cloying, roasted, hot, etc. Ideally you would want to have another bottle when the first is finished. So we may be a bit crazy, but always within the frames of those core values."
Looking ahead
"In the next couple of years there will be a lot of barrel aged beers, sours, bret fermented and spontaneously fermented beers coming from Nøgne Ø. This is fun and unpredictable."

NEXT WEEK---the "subtle brew" from HITACHINO

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